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As you delve deeper into discovering what is causing your collection of "mysterious symptoms," you may stumble upon the adrenal fatigue controversy. There are several organizations that deny the condition exists, including The Hormone Health Network of The Endocrine Society. This outlook can be discouraging when you are trying to get to the root of your health problem — especially if you are brushed off by your doctor.
Broken sleep, frequent travel, over-exercise, and skipping meals can all lead to adrenal fatigue. Body Ecology’s Ancient Earth Minerals Liquid is designed to nourish the adrenals and the thyroid, support natural detoxification, strengthen immunity, and even reduce signs of aging in the body.
But not all medical professionals agree with the adrenal fatigue "myth." According to Dr. Richard Shames, who has undergone extensive training with the NIH and co-authored Thyroid Power, years of research support adrenal fatigue, dating back to Dr. Fuller Albright's work in the 1930s.1 Based on his 30 years of experience in medicine, Dr. Shames disagrees with the Endocrine Society's rejection of adrenal fatigue.
Countless studies support the importance of the adrenals — to regulate circadian rhythms and coordinate the body as its "adrenal clock."2 When the adrenals start to go haywire, every part of the body can be affected.
Before rebuilding your adrenal support system, be sure to account for and manage adrenal stressors.
Common causes of adrenal fatigue include:
The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They pump out regulatory hormones, helping the body to adapt to stress.
These are hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which raise blood sugar, activate the muscles of the body, and send oxygen to the brain. In a time of dire need, stress hormones activate the fight-or-flight response, keeping you on your toes and ready to move.
Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline also weaken the immune system, halt tissue regeneration, and shut down digestive function. When stress is ongoing, this can become a problem. This means that cortisol is always high. Worse, ongoing stress can eventually weaken the adrenal glands that produce stress hormones, flat-lining cortisol levels. And when the body produces too little cortisol, primary adrenal insufficiency, or Addison’s disease, may result — a condition The Endocrine Society recommends immediate treatment for when symptoms become severe.3
In some cases, over-stimulated adrenals can present as high blood pressure, occurring in one out of 50 adults.4 Adolescents and young adults who are born with an adrenal disorder may also be at higher risk for obesity and heart disease.5 While adrenal imbalance can range in complexity and severity, this much we know is true — when the adrenals become weak, stress or no stress, your body simply does not have the energy that it needs to respond.
When your adrenals are tired and overworked, they lose their ability to regulate stress hormones. Unless you are born with compromised health, this type of exhaustion usually takes years — if not decades — to accumulate. For example, when you skip meals often, your body scrambles to keep blood sugar stable, and this drives up your need for stress hormones. A high-sugar diet is no better; again, we see stress hormones increase when meals are filled with sugar and processed carbohydrates.
Before the adrenals fall into full-time exhaustion, other signs of hormonal shifts begin to emerge.
Red flags that may indicate adrenal fatigue include:
Adrenal exhaustion can make a person feel tired, heavy, and sick. When the adrenals are exhausted, they are no longer able to maintain appropriate levels of cortisol.
Fortunately, there are five ways you can fight adrenal fatigue and reclaim your health:
When you restore your adrenal health, you restore the systems that produce energy and manage stress. This means your digestive system, which has a close relationship with your immune system and your brain. This also means your detoxification pathways, primarily the liver and the large intestine.
Likewise, managing chronic stress in your day-to-day life can support the health of the adrenals (and all related body systems) too.
If you needed one good reason to relax and treat yourself well today, consider this — just 25 minutes of mindful meditation can help to reduce stress, while improving stress resilience.6 And something as simple as “stopping to smell the roses” can actually have profound effects on the body’s stress response system by altering genetic activity and blood chemistry to reduce stress levels.7
The adrenals are small glands located on top of the kidneys. They are vital to regulate hormones and help the body respond to stress. Ongoing stress can weaken the adrenals and leave your body exhausted in the aftermath.
Chronic exhaustion may be a sign of adrenal fatigue, a condition that describes the long-term effects of stress on the body. Poor sleep, frequent travel, over-exercising, and skipping meals can all lead to adrenal fatigue.
Years of wear and tear on your body can cause adrenal fatigue symptoms like:
Based on Body Ecology Principles, there are five steps you can take to restore adrenal health:
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